Experimental demonstration of energy harvesting from the sky using the negative illumination effect of a semiconductor photodiode: Applied Physics Letters: Vol 114, No 16

This is some seriously cool technology!

via Experimental demonstration of energy harvesting from the sky using the negative illumination effect of a semiconductor photodiode: Applied Physics Letters: Vol 114, No 16

PSA: Mixing Modular PSU Cables Can Kill Components

via PSA: Mixing Modular PSU Cables Can Kill Components | GamersNexus – Gaming PC Builds & Hardware Benchmarks

Found this to be true! I had two modular power supplies, both from EVGA. Thought they would have standardized their PSU layout.. but nope.

That magic blue smoke came out of the dvd drive so fast…

Dexter Haslem’s WiFi Tweaks

Windows 10 Wifi Tweaks

Wifi has never been great on windows 10, especially after the latest ‘fall creator update’. One of my wifi cards no longer works at all, despite working on this same exact version of windows before a clean install!

Anyway, I’ve found a few ways that seem to make the wifi slightly more consistent, so here they are.

We will need the short name of the wifi adapter and the easiest way is with **netsh*.

To list wlan settings run the following in a cmd or powershell (Win+X):

netsh wlan show settings

PS C:\Users\Dexter> netsh wlan show settings

Wireless LAN settings
Show blocked networks in visible network list: No

Only use GP profiles on GP-configured networks: No

Hosted network mode allowed in WLAN service: Yes

Allow shared user credentials for network authentication: Yes

Block period: Not Configured.

Auto configuration logic is disabled on interface “Wi-Fi”
MAC randomization not available on interface Wi-Fi
Look for the quoted part after interface, in this case my adapter name is Wi-Fi. Alternatively, you can go to

Control Panel -> Network Connections

And that will have the same name. We’ll need it for the rest of the steps.

Save these two in batch files so you can easily run them as needed:

WIFI_AUTO_ON.bat netsh wlan set autoconfig enabled=yes interface=”Wi-Fi”

WIFI_AUTO_OFF.bat netsh wlan set autoconfig enabled=no interface=”Wi-Fi”

Replace “Wi-Fi” with the adapter name from the first step!

Now you can right click on WIFI_AUTO_OFF.BAT and run as admin before playing an online game. For me, this seems to help with the persistent, roughly 1 minute apart ping spikes.

This one is a bit harder to quantify but in my highly non-scientific testing, my ping appeared to be more stable overall after turning off auto tuning. Note this is machine wide and seems to be related to TCP window sizes. I’ve encounted no side effects but..

netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
Disable dat heuristic tuning

Hopefully this helps others eek out a remotely usable wifi experience on windows.

April 12, 2018
NetBSD cross-compiling

via Dexter Haslem

Windows Isn’t a Service; It’s an Operating System

via Windows Isn’t a Service; It’s an Operating System

You’ve overlooked one thing: most of the updates are security fixes.

Also, I welcome the new changes. I look forward to each upgrade. Once a year? (blargh!)

But you are right about Windows 10.. it is NOT a service. An Operating System never is.. That is what services run in/on!


via DiskFresh | FileForum

Hmm, here’s an interesting utility. Supposedly helps keep magnetic hard drive data “fresh”. I wonder if it would help on modern hard drives..

Publisher’s Description

DiskFresh is a simple yet powerful tool that can refresh your hard disk signal by reading and writing each sector and hence making your disk more reliable for storage. It also informs you if there are any damaged/bad sectors so you know the right time to replace your disk. The best part is, unlike other tools it does all this when Windows is running and it does not interfere with the speed of your work at all.

“Radio Silence”

via Radio Silence : nosleep

36,400,000. That is the expected number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, according to Drake’s famous equation. For the last 78 years, we had been broadcasting everything about us – our radio, our television, our history, our greatest discoveries – to the rest of the galaxy. We had been shouting our existence at the top of our lungs to the rest of the universe, wondering if we were alone. 36 million civilizations, yet in almost a century of listening, we hadn’t heard a thing. We were alone.

That was, until about 5 minutes ago.

The transmission came on every transcendental multiple of hydrogen’s frequency that were listening to. Transcendental harmonics – things like hydrogen’s frequency times pi – don’t appear in nature, so I knew it had to be artificial. The signal pulsed on and off very quickly with incredibly uniform amplitudes; my initial reaction was that this was some sort of binary transmission. I measured 1679 pulses in the one minute that the transmission was active. After that, the silence resumed.

The numbers didn’t make any sense at first. They just seemed to be a random jumble of noise. But the pulses were so perfectly uniform, and on a frequency that was always so silent; they had to come from an artificial source. I looked over the transmission again, and my heart skipped a beat. 1679 – that was the exact length of the Arecibo message sent out 40 years ago. I excitedly started arranging the bits in the original 73×23 rectangle. I didn’t get more than halfway through before my hopes were confirmed. This was the exact same message. The numbers in binary, from 1 to 10. The atomic numbers of the elements that make up life. The formulas for our DNA nucleotides. Someone had been listening to us, and wanted us to know they were there.

Then it came to me – this original message was transmitted only 40 years ago. This means that life must be at most 20 lightyears away. A civilization within talking distance? This would revolutionize every field I have ever worked in – astrophysics, astrobiology, astro-

The signal is beeping again.

This time, it is slow. Deliberate, even. It lasts just under 5 minutes, with a new bit coming in once per second. Though the computers are of course recording it, I start writing them down. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 0… I knew immediately this wasn’t the same message as before. My mind races through the possibilities of what this could be. The transmission ends, having transmitted 248 bits. Surely this is too small for a meaningful message. What great message to another civilization can you possibly send with only 248 bits of information? On a computer, the only files that small would be limited to…


Was it possible? Were they really sending a message to us in our own language? Come to think of it, it’s not that out of the question – we had been transmitting pretty much every language on earth for the last 70 years… I begin to decipher with the first encoding scheme I could think of – ASCII. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 0. That’s B… 0. 1. 1 0. 0. 1. 0. 1. E…

As I finish piecing together the message, my stomach sinks like an anchor. The words before me answer everything.